The Essay…what does the board want to hear

I probably should have written this a couple months back when many of you were just starting your application. I’m trying to help out my fellow procrastinators get back in the game. Many of the applicants on my list still haven’t submitted everything, so this information may be relevant to more than a few of you.

Got an email from one of my applicants the other day. The applicant was asking about the essay on the Army ROTC scholarship application. He wanted to know how important it was, and what it should say. I would start out by saying that it is certainly not the most important part of the application. Your whole person score and your SAL attributes will carry most of the weight.

Here is what I would suggest you do when you write your essay. By no means is this the official answer, but my thoughts are that this may score you a couple bonus points and get you the slight edge in the process. There are two blocks on the application where you can add narrative input to your submission. These blocks are titled “Applicants Additional SAL Achievements” and “Personal Statement”.

Here is what I would suggest for the first. Take a look at the PMS interview sheet, and make sure you annotate anything on the front side of that sheet that would “check a block”. Highlight anything that has to do with Scholar/Athlete/Leader things you do. If you are weak in one area, don’t lie. Just make sure you are strong in another. Don’t discount things like responsibility at a part time job to show your leadership potential, or an individual sport to highlight your Athletic attributes. Don’t leave anything off the table in this block.

For the essay I suggest you look at three things (Google them):


I’ve linked each of these to the best link I found on Google. Once you have looked at these three topics I feel you have enough information to know what we are looking to instill in an Officer, and what we want in our Cadets. If you sit down and now write your personal statement describing why you want to be an Army Officer, and throw in some statements that sound like your values and beliefs align with the Soldier’s Creed/Warrior Ethos/Army Values/Leadership Dimensions you should have a personal statement that will convince a board member that you have what it takes.

Hope that makes sense…What do you think???

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4 Responses

  1. […] to explain why you want to be an Army Officer. Take a look at this post for some ideas regarding themes you can talk about such as Army Values or Soldiers Creed. Remember that no matter how informal the conversation appears to be, you are still being watched […]

  2. […] It’s not that bad. The application is pretty straight forward. You need to be prepared to put your personal statement in, but it is simple to cut and paste into the fields. There is also an extensive inventory of extra […]

  3. […] It’s not that bad. The application is pretty straight forward. You need to be prepared to put your personal statement in, but it is simple to cut and paste into the fields. There is also an extensive inventory of extra […]

  4. […] to explain why you want to be an Army Officer. Take a look at this post for some ideas regarding themes you can talk about such as Army Values or Soldiers Creed. Remember that no matter how informal the conversation appears to be, you are still being watched […]

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